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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Monday, November 22, 2010

Humble Pie

Well, I'm eating lots of humble pie these days. 2 weekends ago, Bizzie was awesome in our CAA trial - she Q'd 6 out of 7 runs, finished her MAD, & finally got her last Adv Jumpers Q. She was a really good little girl, even got both gambles although they both had tunnels, so that was right up her alley! Fast forward to this past weekend... we did a standard course in a fun league & she was a complete brat! She had at least 5 off courses, jumped off the top of the Dogwalk, didn't listen...
Blast did well at the CAA trial - Q'd 3 out of 7 runs & only had a few bobbles in the others. He had 2 bars, both on doubles, so obviously that's something we need to work on. First time ever he's knocked a bar, however he's running faster & with more confidence now. In the fun league he just had 5 faults for a refusal, which was part of a mini zoomie!
I have to admit my dogs haven't had my attention or much exercise for the past month since my mom's in the hospital, so I spend most of the day there. And of course the weather is frigid & those little feet can't seem to tolerate the cold.
I signed Boo up for another Rally course, CKC this time, so we'll see how he does. He actually did pretty well the first course we took, which was CARO. Not sure we'll ever compete, but you never know.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Thankful for...

I'm thankful for family, friends, and good health! (Dogs of course fall into the family category)

The Dr gave me the go ahead to go back to normal activity following my surgery, so now I need to get into shape before the next trial! So this I"m thankful for!

Bizzie seems to be feeling so much better - hope it transfers over to trial situations - this I'm also thankful for!

I'm thankful for the beautiful weather we've been having lately...

Oh, and I'm thankful that my pumpkin pie turned out absolutely wonderful!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Well, it's been over a month since I've written anything. We've been taking a break from agility, and the weather has been horrid until lately, so not much outdoor training for us.

We did go to the RDOG (Responsible Dog Ownership Day) at Bowness Park last weekend. I took both Blast & Bizzie with me. There were several demos set up, an agility course, a rally course, some frisbee, and some scent hurdling. Of course there were several rescue groups there as well.
Bizzie seems to be feeling so much better, but her naughty side seems to be more prevalent. She's quite the diva & likes to bark to get attention. Will be working on that one! Blast had lots of fun - I did a rally course with him (he's done no rally or obedience) but I think he did better than Boo, who's had 5 lessons! Boo skitters around so quickly, it's hard to reward behaviors at the right time.
Blast also passed the Canine Good Neighbor test (not the official one..).

I took Bizzie & Blast out to the barn for a quick agility run a week ago. Blast ran well for Dante, actually, probably better than he runs for me... hmm... Since I'm still not cleared from the Dr to run, I did some sending with Bizzie & she seems to have her old spirit back.

Other than that, we've been working on some more tricks... Last week I bent over to pick something up from the floor & Blast jumped up on my back! A trick we haven't even practiced for ages.. he's quite the character!

We've entered an agility trial in October, so hopefully we'll all be healthy by then!

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Word - Agilcation

Well, we're all taking a small break from active agility - thus the word agil-cation.
I had my surgery yesterday (just minor), but I can't do any running, lifting, vacuuming, etc for 6 wks. so I have to find ways to keep the dogs busy. Bizzie is taking a break until her back is feeling all better, so we've been doing some tricks. I'm also going to try to do some work to strengthen her core - so if anyone has any good exercises for that please let me know... I have a peanut ball...
Blast & I are always working on tricks, but he needs to run.. and Boo & I just started a rally class. I can probably work some distance stuff with Blast in the back yard, but I'll need to get someone to run him on some courses.

Unfortunately I have to miss some agility trials that would have been fun - will miss my pals in Lethbridge this weekend..

Boo was quite funny at the rally class, hopefully he will settle down a little! He of course needs to learn the basics of heeling, etc...

Monday, August 9, 2010

AAC Nationals

Well, it's all over now. The AAC Nationals was a great time! The largest National event ever! I was happy to be running at all since I didn't think my dogs would qualify. I saw some really great runs & wonderful dogs & handlers - they seem to get faster every year! The judges were great, the volunteers awesome, the weather wonderful, & the venue was gorgeous! My compliments & thanks to the organizers - what a huge undertaking!
My goal for this year was to finish all the runs & have Blast stay with me in the ring.
We completed all of our runs & he did some sightseeing, but always came back to me. He was very taken with a speedy little Sheltie that ran before us once on Sunday & he was glued to the startline still swiveling his head around looking for her while I was giving him the OK to start. Kinda funny, but not really! With all the distractions at a large event like Nat's & the challenging courses, I was very happy with my boy! We still have lots of work to do, but he's come a long way baby! There were 72 dogs in our division, so it was very competitive!

Bizzie had another Chiro adjustment & a lovely massage & she seems to be feeling much better now. I'm giving her 6 wks off any agility training, so hopefully the rest will be good for her.

I think I'm going to try to do some Rally with Boo - he's feeling rather neglected these days & can't figure out why he doesn't get to play agility any more.

Monday, July 19, 2010

A New Adventure

I haven't posted anything for quite a while - it seems only people who comment in Chinese read this blog & I can't understand their comments! LOL!
Anyhow, our Nationals is just 2 wks away & I haven't been doing much with Blast. Just some work in the back yard. His biggest problem is distractions, which is not the easiest thing to work on. We've been working weave pole entries every day.

So I decided to take Blast to the tryouts for Superdogs a couple of wks ago. He did really well & got a "call back". So off to Stampede Park we went! There were of course as many distractions as you can possibly think of! When I took him to the potty area for the dogs, every so often he would see a ride appear above the trucks beside us & of course that scared him. In between shows we practiced & he was relaxed & was able to play ball & did all the equipment - corkscrew tunnels, "log jumps", 24 weave poles, puissance jump, etc. These are all things he'd never seen before.
Then we got the opportunity to go out in a real show in a relay race. Just as we were lining up to go out, they brought out a giant inflatable dog that was about 10 feet tall, & of course he was dancing around right at the end of the relay where we were running! Well, poor Blast, he did the first few jumps & then lost it! He ran barking up to the mascot, hackles raised, scared to death!
Although the crowd thought it was funny, I felt really bad that he was so afraid.
On the plus side he came out for the "pat & chat" where all the little kids come over to maul the dogs, oops, I mean meet the dogs, & he was a really good boy.

So that was our big adventure! (Another thing to tick off my bucket list!)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Drum Roll Please.....

We did it! Still can't believe it! Blast & I qualified to go to Nationals! It wasn't pretty, but we actually finished with 423 points I think!

I really didn't think I would qualify with Blast or Bizzie & was disappointed not to be running my steady guy Boo, so it was a huge surprise to me that we made it. Anyone who knows Blast will understand that it's been a difficult road for us - although he tries hard, he is so easily distracted I have to try to keep him with me the entire run. The only faults he had on Sunday were time faults, incurred by running to the fence to check out the dog who was barking, etc. What a good boy - I'm so proud of him.

Bizzie didn't quite make it - one off course too many. She was not running well at all & I could tell she wasn't feeling good. I finally took her to the chiropractor on Sunday & she had a huge adjustment (jaw, neck, shoulder, mid back & pelvis). I did have her adjusted before we left but it was a minor adjustment, so not sure what happened in between. Between that & really soaking her down to cool her off, she finally started to run in gamblers - did 14 obstacles, but got distracted in the final gamble by the spectators & dogs ... too bad since it was a gamble she could have done. Anyhow, it's OK, she's still fairly inexperienced & I didn't expect her to qualify.

We did have a great time, the courses were not easy, the judges were great, & it was wonderful to see some friends have great successes!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Off to Regionals

Well, we're off to Regionals this week. It will seem odd to not be running Boo this year, but I'm now sure that I made the right decision. I was worried about running 3 dogs, so now I'm down to 2 dogs, which will be plenty. This is their first Regionals, so I don't have high expectations, we're just there to have fun.

I had Bizzie at the chiropractor today (another adjustment) so hopefully she's feeling better.

While I was there, I had Catharine look at Boo's Xrays & she did confirm what my other vet told me. She also thought he had some involvement in his neck. Although I feel better about my decision, it still seems unfair that such a young dog should have his career end so early. But as I wrote before, he's first a pet, then an agility dog, so now he gets to live a life of leisure! Well, he's also the fun police when the other dogs get too unruly playing!

I sure hope the weather cooperates... it's been so cold & rainy this spring, we've hardly had any chance to practice outdoors. Anyhow, wish us luck & hope the courses aren't too daunting!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tough Decision

This post is about my little guy Boo. He just turned 6 last month. I got him at 9 months & he was not the easiest dog to train. He was a show dog but didn't have the best nature & was dismissed from the ring for growling at the judge, etc. He knew nothing when I got him, & he was very spoiled. He was probably not the best candidate for your first agility dog!
We worked a long time together before things started to mesh... he would only do a couple of obstacles, then leave or refuse to do anything. He was very slow & velcro & wouldn't leave my side. Then at the end of the run, I could never catch him. Slowly things started to come together. We went to 4 AAC Nationals together... the first year we didn't qualify at Regionals, so we drove out to BC to volunteer, & I entered Boo in Steeplechase - he won his division! Huge surprise!
Then the next year we qualified to go to Nationals, so we went to Ontario & he came 3rd overall in his division. Another huge surprise! He also won the Steeplechase final for the 6" dogs! Money & everything!
I won't bore you with all the details, but the next 2 Nationals he placed 4th & 7th & finally got some gambles. He has since become a pretty good little gambler!

Boo has always hated the teeter & I always suspected that the jolt at the end jarred his back. He would always do it in training (when the treats trumped the pain) but not in trials.
I did start taking him to a chiropractor, who adjusted his back, & he seemed to run quite well.
Last week his back seemed to be really sore & he started screaming when we picked him up, etc. Off to the vet we went. After xrays & much poking & prodding, we determined that he has a protruded disk in his middle back. He's on crate rest right now, as well as muscle relaxants & medicam, so he's feeling much better. The vet explained that he could probably still feel well enough to run agility, but if he had a jar to his back, more disk could leak out & there would be a possiblity of paralysis. I just couldn't see us having fun running courses anymore if I was worrying & he was hurting, so I made the tough decision to retire him from agility. He may still run the odd jumpers course if I feel he's really itching to get out there, but otherwise he's done - no more teeters for the little guy. With AAC Nationals here in Calgary this year, it was disappointing to not be able to run him here if we qualified, but it's just a game & he is first & foremost my pet Boo.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Weird, The Worriesome, & the Wacko

The Weird - I left the house for a bit yesterday & crated the dogs as I always do. (We just got Critter back after her maternity leave.)
When I came home, I let the dogs out & Critter was crying in her crate, kind of sitting with her front paws in front of her. I encouraged her to come out & she couldn't walk... Everytime she tried to walk, her front legs sort of collapsed & she went down on her face. I couldn't figure out what was wrong, but I was really concerned. I put her on the couch on her back to try to assess the problem & finally realized that she had her two front dew claws hooked together! Don't know how she did it, but of course everytime she tried to pull them apart, it hurt. Anyhow, we got them unhooked & she's just fine, but isn't that weird!

The Worriesome - I thought Boo was a little sore on sunday morning, so I didn't take him out to our CAA practice. He's had some chiropractic adjustments on his back, so I thought I'd make him an appt for this week. But yesterday, when I went to pick him up he just screamed & was shaking - he was definately in a lot of pain. I took him to the vet & his mid back & hip are both extremely painful. He's on crate rest for 2 wks, as well as Medicam. I'm having him Xrayed on Thurs, so hopefully it's not a disk problem. Keep your fingers crossed. With Regionals in less than 3 wks, I'm quite concerned he won't be able to run.

The Wacko - well, that's just Blast! Lovable as ever, but he sure has his quirks!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Whee Wednesday

We did the Whee Wed evening trial with all the dogs this week.
It was a "Regionals Prep", so we ran Gamblers, Standard, & Jumpers.
As you can imagine, with everyone getting ready for Regionals, there were a lot of people there. We didn't get home until nearly 1 AM...

We started with Gamblers - Boo did an awesome opening, got the mini with weaves twice, but the closing had the formidable teeter in it... however, it was the 2nd to last obstacle, & it was almost the finish line - Boo did the best teeter he's ever done & got the gamble! Yeah Boo!
Blast & Bizzie are still in Adv Gamblers, so they ran FEO... Blast qualified & had a pretty nice run, Bizzie would have qualified, but she was overtime since she took the scenic route & did the DW before we started the gamble, but they both got the gamble! A great start to the evening.

Standard was next, & it had some tricky parts... Boo was clean up to the 2nd last obstacle - that same teeter in the same place & I thought, oh, he's going to do it & the little bugger ran past the teeter! So much for that! Bizzie ran pretty well, but had a couple of oopsies, popped out of the weaves on the 10th pole... so she didn't Q. Blast did pretty much the same, missed a jump when I thought he was committed, but he ran pretty well.

Jumpers was last, it was getting really late & I think the dogs were really tired... Boo was overtime, which surprised me - he started off slow, but sped up in the middle.
Blast ran awesome, but he came out the tunnel entrance at the beginning, which he's done a few times in the past, but the rest was clean & really nice.
Bizzie said it's past her bed time, & was trotting around, so I picked her up & left.
I think hormones play a big part in her behavior, & she just came into heat yesterday, so I'll chalk it up to that.

It was a really long evening, but lots of fun anyways!

Oh, & the big news, Cactus got all her contacts & Q'd the Standard run!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Trials & Tribulations

We came back from our first outdoor trial this past weekend. The weather was really crappy.
I knew Blast would have a tough time with more distractions than usual & also the ring is not fenced, just a rope around it which is above his head, so that didn't help.
Fri nite was cool & very windy. I only ran the dogs in Steeplechase. Boo managed a Q, Blast was very stressed & ran out of the ring to poop. (The judge said he should have got a Q for leaving the ring to do it!) Bizzie did a little fiddling around, so she was slightly over time.
Sat morning was very cool, around 2 degrees. Bizzie ran well & earned a Q in the first Masters Standard course, so I was very happy with that. Boo had 5 faults, but I can't remember why... he really didn't want to do the teeter again... urgh... Blast was distracted by the dogs warming up & couldn't concentrate.
By the time we ran the second Masters standard, it was raining & blowing & Bizzie just walked around looking at me like - you must be kidding... Blast was once again distracted by the dogs warming up (both times the weave poles were at that side of the course, so he couldn't weave)
Only Blast ran snooker, & he managed a Q, by then there were no dogs warming up cause everyone was trying to stay inside their tents to stay dry.
Last course of the day was jumpers & I pulled Boo & Bizzie due to the weather. Blast ran pretty well, but he missed the first jump so had 5 faults. At least the weather didn't bother him.
Sunday started off cool & windy as well. Boo ran a beautiful opening in Gamblers, but there was a teeter in the final gamble, so he refused to do it...
Bizzie & Blast both got the Adv gamble, so I was really happy with that. I haven't done much distance work with either one of them. Boo got another Steeplechase Q, but I didn't enter the others. Biz was eliminated from the last jumpers round - I got out of position, she stopped & then left the ring to pee. Blast finally got it together mostly & got his last Adv jumpers Q.
The weather finally got nice around noon on Sunday, it was too bad it couldn't have done that on Saturday. It was nice to see some agility friends we haven't seen for a while, & despite the weather we had a great time!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Training & this & that..

I have so much to train & not enough time it seems. I've been going for physio for an achilles tendon problem, so I hope it gets better soon.

I'm feeling that the Derrett system is too much pressure for Blast & I am unable to help him enough & still stay within the rules of the system. I've been focusing more on skills the past little while rather than running courses.

We had a great time at the Terry Simons seminar.. I mostly ran Bizzie & Blast, did one gamble with Boo. Blast ran a nice jumpers run on Sunday, but we missed a jump (my fault).
Not sure what the issue was with Bizzie, but she did not want to run on Sunday, refused all the weave poles, etc. I took her to the Chiropractor last week & her back was out a little, but I'm not sure that was the cause of her stress.
The gambles were difficult, but I didn't expect my young dogs to do well since I've not trained distance with them.

Hopefully we can get outdoors now to do some practice since that adds a whole new layer of distractions for the dogs. I'm still working on Blast's contacts since he gets stressed easily if we drill them too much. With Bizzie, we need to work on collection when there is an inviting tunnel in sight... and they both need work on weave pole entries. Those are on the top of my list anyways. I've been working a little on a start line for Boo since I've mostly run with him to get his speed up. He's been doing pretty well, but we'll see what happens in a trial situation. He still has teeter issues in trials, which is difficult to fix since he seldom has an issue in training.
Yesterday was Boo's 6th birthday! Hard to believe - don't know where the time has gone!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Exciting times

Well, it seems that everything happens at once!
Critter had her puppies on Fri evening... she had 2 boys, but one was stillborn.. poor little guy.
The other pup is black & white & actually looks a lot like Bizzie. This is Critter's first litter & she is being a great mommy.

We also had a one day trial on Saturday.
Bizzie had an off course in Steeplechase, my fault, (again..) cause I blind crossed after a tunnel, but I was too late (had a brain fart) so it confused her & she took an off course. I still need to work on her start lines, they're not as good as they should be. She earned an Adv Jumpers Q with a pretty nice run. In snooker, she decided to pick her own course, so that didn't work too well.

Blast ran the Steeplechase pretty well but took an off course jump, I think I didn't rotate soon enough to pull him into the closer jump. He also sniffed at the weave pole entry... We got zero points in snooker since he took a tunnel instead of the red jump, and he doesn't even really like tunnels!
I was disappointed in our jumpers run... it seems that if I rear cross close to the edge of the arena, he leaves to sniff.... need to stay ahead of him & do more front crosses....
Boo had a couple of really good runs (2/3 Q's) - he was pretty fast & had some nice moments (other than the stupid Snooker where I sent him over the wrong jump!) I had 3 tries at that Snooker & didn't get any of them! LOL!

I like the one day trials, sometimes it's nice just to do 2 or 3 runs, especially when you're running 3 dogs...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Agility Trial weekend

Wow, what a busy weekend. This was the first trial that I entered all 3 of my dogs in an entire trial. I also ended up stepping into a trial secretary role (which I've never done before).
At the same time, I was waiting for the birth of my third grandchild, so I really had a lot on my mind!

The trial was great - we had lots of help & it really does make you feel good when people step up to help out just cause they're good people. Thanks to all of you who did that!

The dogs had some great moments & some "dog" moments.
Boo ended up with a Challenge Q and a Masters Gamble Q (his first one in a while)
He wasn't running super fast, & the course times were really tight, so he had a couple of time faults. I haven't practiced a lot with him lately, & he's so different to run than my other two, so our timing is off. I need to get some practice in with him.

Blast had a pretty good weekend - he got his last Adv Std Q, so he's now in Masters Standard, and he got a Masters Snooker Q. His other runs were pretty good, but I still lose him if I take my eye off him for a second! Once again we didn't get the Adv Jumpers due to my handling! GRRR!

Bizzie had a beautiful Adv Gamble & got the Q - pretty good for a dog who hasn't done any distance work really. Her other runs were fast, but had quite a few off courses.... have to put her on a tunnel diet. Again, our timing is off... on the plus side, her start lines were much better.

OH, and yes I am a grandma again - Mya Elizabeth was born this morning & all is well with both mom & baby!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

It's only a Game!

We did the one day TT trial in Olds yesterday.
There were some wonderful moments & some not so wonderful moments...

I ran Boo in Gamblers & he had a pretty nice opening, but I didn't move fast enough in the final gamble, so he didn't get it. Lorelei ran him in the other runs & did a great job. She did get lost at the end of the steeplechase or they would have Q'd, and she' Q'd the Masters Jumpers.. pretty good for a novice handler with a rent-a-dog!

Blast was pretty sniffy - a new arena with lots of horse smells. He Q'd the Steeplechase round. He also Q'd the Adv Jumpers, which we have been trying to get for a long time, but, alas, the timer didn't work & we had to re-run. Of course he missed a jump the second time around so we didn't get that elusive Q. I'm pretty embarrassed that I got upset since it really is just a game & the dog doesn't know any different. It's just so hard to qualify with Blast, he's a difficult dog to run & we're just starting to get it together.

Bizzie was "Bizzie Bad Girl" this weekend. Since I've been playing a lot more with her on her own, she seems to be cheekier than ever! She was the entertainment in the Standard round, taking quite a few extra obstacles & generally blowing me off. She had a beautiful Adv Snooker run which she Q'd, so she's now in Masters Snooker. Our Adv jumpers run was just after I finished running Blast twice & I don't know if she felt my frustration, but she was a little devil on the startline & wouldn't listen at all, so I picked her up & she didn't get to run.. don't know if it will have any impact on her but it was worth a try.

Cactus had her usual weekend with Wayne, but he's been working her contacts at home with a hoop, & he probably should have pulled her from the events with contacts since she still did her usual swan dive off the Aframe.

The exciting news of the weekend was that Wayne won a set of 24" weave poles made & donated by Randy Turner!

Next weekend is the Paws N Effect trial, so we'll see how that goes! I'm still trying to decide if I should enter Bizzie or Blast in Regionals... so far it's not looking so good!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Seminar Weekend

We just did our Kathy Keats seminar this past weekend, and, as usual, it was great!
Kathy has a great eye for detail, as well as that wonderful video tool, Dartfish...
On Saturday, we did some short jump sequences - we did each of them 2 different ways, either using a front cross or a rear cross in some places, or went around a jump to the left or to the right.
Then we were able to view our run on the computer & compare times. As Kathy pointed out, just because one way was faster in the short term, that doesn't mean it will be the best choice when running an entire course... if the "slower" way enabled the dog to really open up & drive for the next portion of the run, that way may be the better choice. I used Bizzie for Saturday & she really did a good job (other than that dash for the tunnel that wasn't even part of the sequence!) I was happy that she kept up her speed in the tight turns.

On Sunday, we did a couple of compete courses with contact equipment & some difficult handling choices (also, no numbers on the course!). This was Blast's turn. I was happy with his contacts, which have been a problem in the past, and he did quite well. His problem is me! I find with him I have to be very confident & decisive in my handling.. he is so much different to handle than my little papillons, not just because he is bigger & has a huge stride, but he will disconnect if I hesitate at all. He really tries hard, & he is teaching me a ton!

Boo had a great weekend, he was a rent-a-dog for 12 year old Lorelei, who is a student of a friend of mine (Lynda C). They were just the cutest team! Lorelei did an awesome handling job & Boo ran really well for her. I don't think he's ever eaten so many wieners in one day!

Kathy has a unique way of challenging the handlers to really "go for it" and she really makes you think about the mental aspect of the game.
All in all it was a great weekend!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Weekend Fun!

This weekend we're looking forward to a seminar with Kathy Keats. Kathy is more of a coach than a "seminar presenter" & focuses a lot on the mental aspect of the game.
We always enjoy our time spent with her - she pushes us to move faster, think faster, & be faster!
I've always done her seminars with Blast, but this time I may switch between Blast & Bizzie.
Boo is going to be a rent-a-dog & run with Lorelei, who is a junior handler who works with Lynda, a local trainer & friend of mine. He's run with her before, so hope he works well with her. (This is a dog that is a real mommy's boy & used to be very velcro!)

On another note, Critter, Wayne's little papillon, had a trip to the vet's last week as she had a small ulceration on each eyeball. We've done a week of eyedrops & will give it another few days to see if everything is healed. The ulcers appear to have disappeared, but her one eye is still squinty on occasion.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly

Well, the trial had a little of everything:

The Good - Bizzie got her first Masters Q on a Standard course
The Bad - Bizzie had an awful Steeplechase where she was very naughty & zoomed around
The Ugly - my handling of the Adv jumpers course for Bizzie & Blast

Biz was a little hot & cold this weekend, she had some really nice moments & some odd ones - like stopping at the 11th pole in gamblers & just looking at me. She also had to run over to check out the judge & the number stuck in the ground for Snooker! On the plus side, her start lines were pretty good.

After looking at the tapes, I realized that if I stop on course with Bizzie to call her or change her direction, she will stop & look at me, then just take off & do something.. anything... so I must remember to always keep moving

Boo was having a nice Challenge run until he stopped at the table & spun around before getting on it - guess it's been awhile since he's done a table.
He Q'd 3 out of 5, so he had a much better day on Sunday.

I only had Blast in 2 runs - his steeplechase was pretty good, but I lost him at one point & he went the wrong way & took an off course jump. The jumpers was a bit of a mess, he ran pretty well, but took a wrong end of the tunnel - my fault.

Wayne & Cactus finally got a masters' standard Q - the first one in a year! She actually got most of her contacts on Sunday!

Friday, March 12, 2010


In my former life I was a registered nurse, so I was not such a believer in chiropractors & "natural healing". My training was all about mainstream medical care. Since then I've seen the light! I'm a huge believer in such things for myself & my dogs.

Did you know that regular chiropractic adjustments can really improve your immune system? It's for real!

Anyhow, I digress. Bizzie seemed a little off the past little while so she went to see Katharine today & sure enough, she had a pinched nerve between her shoulder blades. We'll see how she runs at the trial this weekend. Boo goes regularly & always has a little adjustment. He's still got quite a bruise from his altercation with his big brother, but he seems fine now, not sore.

We'll see how the crew does at the trial & hopefully everyone is feeling well. Unfortunately, I didn't get to my own chiro this month yet, so will have to go next week!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Getting Ready...

This weekend is another AAC trial for us. I have been working on some different things for the past little while.

With Bizzie, I have been playing a lot more with her & I can now get her to tug in the arena with other dogs around - this is HUGE for us. I don't think it will happen yet in a trial atmosphere, but baby steps.... She seemed to lose a little confidence at the last Wee Wednesday trial - she was at the warm up jumps, and the big dogs coming off course ran right by her & gave her a scare I think. I really wish there was a barrier there, for safety reasons mainly.

With Blast, I've been working still on control & focus. I have to really pay attention to him in the corners or I can lose him really quickly. He is running faster & his contacts are getting better. I only have him entered in Jumpers & Steeplechase this weekend.

I wasn't sure if Boo was going to be able to run at all this weekend; he & Blast got into a scrap on Tues & he has quite a bruise under his left leg. He does seem OK now & we are going to the chiropractor tomorrow, so hopefully all will be good!

Monday, February 15, 2010

CAA trial thoughts...

We had a good time at the trial this weekend. I only entered the dogs in a few runs each & I made sure that I didn't have 2 dogs in the same class this time. I think it worked out really well - I wasn't so rushed to put one dog away & get the other one out. It has been difficult with Blast & Bizzie in all the same classes - even though they run at different heights, sometimes I only have 1 or 2 dogs in between. I really liked the set up at this trial - the fencing allowed for more space between the start line & the warm up/viewing area - really helps for the dogs that get distracted on the start line.
Boo Q'd 2/3 - missed the gamble - my fault. He got another Challenge Q & a Standard Q. He absolutely didn't want to tip the teeter in the challenge class - will have to work on the teeter again - he does it fine in training when there are treats present... any suggestions? anyone?

Blast was only entered in Jumpers & Steeplechase. He had 5 faults in jumpers, & it was totally my fault - can't take my eyes off him for one second, or I lose him. He had a pretty nice Steeplechase run, although we still have weave pole issues.

Bizzie's first run was Gamblers & she was very naughty - she did hold her start line, did 2 obstacles, then pinned those ears back & away she went into the first tunnel she saw & just continued on with her own course running around like a mad woman! Her first standard course she was much better, actually listened, but got an off course tunnel (isn't that a surprise). She Q'd her second standard, which moves her up into Masters... oooh, so not ready.
She listened well in the snooker run & earned another Q. I was wishing I had entered her in Jumpers, it was a really nice course. Oh well, next time...

Friday, February 12, 2010

Rye's most exciting adventure

Well, Rye will be going home today - I think he's going to miss Critter - they played a lot!

here's the bunch in a "quiet" moment

Tag - you're it!

This didn't last very long.

This is what Princess Bizzie thought of Rye - when is he going home?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

And then there were six!

Yes, six dogs, but only for a week! I'm dogsitting a golden retriever called Rye. He's a beautiful pup, still intact, about 16 months old. He has a wonderful nature & is really good with my little dogs.

Here he is watching TV.

Eye to eye with Critter.

Having a singalong!

Dancing a cha cha with Blast (Blast's leading)

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Practice, practice, practice!

We got quite a bit of practice in this weekend. All 3 dogs got to work some. Saturday, we did a one day clinic as a Regionals prep. It was run similar to regionals to get everyone used to the format since there were a few handlers who have never been to regionals.

We did Jumpers as our first run. I decided to use Bizzie for this one. She had an off course (due to my bad handling) but ran the rest quite well. We repeated the course again & she was clean! I have to remember not to turn my back on her, she cut behind me both times in the same place... and I never do blind crosses with her!

The second run was Standard & I ran Blast. He seems to be developing an aversion to tunnels, he goes in the entry & comes back out... not sure why... anyhow, this happened the first run & we screwed up a tricky jump pattern, but he did the last half quite well. The second run, he seemed to be really distracted & nervous, which I thought we were getting over. I picked him up after the 5th obstacle since he was sniffing & avoiding.. sigh... We did run it again at the end & he did quite well.

The last run we did was Gamblers, so I saved this one for Boo. He got the mini, which included a teeter - he hates teeters - not sure how many points we got, but we missed the final gamble when he took the wrong entry to the tunnel.
Second time around he missed the mini but got the final gamble. He'll often do the teeter once, but then avoids it the next time. He does it just fine in practice, but then there's cookies involved!

Today we had a CAA practice, which is at a different location. We set up a few stations to work different skills & then ran a course at the end. The inevitable finally happened... Bizzie beat Boo! She was clean & he wasn't! Blast was quite distracted again, so we just did some short drills & called it a day for him. He's such a complex little guy, hard to figure out what upsets him.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


I finally bit the bullet & signed up for outreach for 2010.

I know I need some help with my training, so hopefully the consistency in the system will help.
The first day much of our time was spent doing jump exercises. I worked the exercises with Blast, & he did very well, of course it's me that needs the work! I have been working on Blast's focus & I think it is improving, so he was able to work with other dogs present. He is now also waiting quietly in his crate when not his turn, which is a big thing to me, since he can be quite a barker.

The second day was all about contacts & weaves, which is the area where we need the most work.
As soon as Blast came into the arena & saw all the contact equipment, his demeanor was quite different.... he was more stressed, (as was I), seemed to forget some of what we've been working on, and I could really see that he doesn't understand his job as far as contacts are concerned.

He did pretty well with some of the weave pole drills, and managed to keep focus through that part of the exercises, which was good, since it was at the end of the day.

I've decided not to trial him for the next month or two, (maybe a jumpers round so that he can still be exposed to the trial setting) and really spend some time training contacts.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Trial results

We did the Training Troop trial on the weekend, & as usual it was a fun time!
The dogs did pretty well, although I'm going to take Bizzie to the chiropractor for a check up - she didn't seem herself & was running slow much of the time, which is not her style. She did manage 2 Adv Standard Q's, but I've been working hard on her start line & it was really good 50% of the time & sucked the other 50%. She ran off a couple of times, so her focus wasn't great, but we'll work on that. She's been pretty sucky at home too, not interested in playing much, so I'm just going to get her checked out & make sure everything physically is good. She almost got the gamble, but turned the wrong way out of the tunnel, sigh, another thing to practice in training! I carried her off the snooker run, she slipped off the teeter cause she was watching me, & we were both tired at that point, so we ended the day with that.

Boo only Q'd one run out of five, but it was a difficult Challenge run & it was really nice, other than his slow teeter. His little friend Loralei, who is Lynda C's young student, ran him in Jumpers & did a great job, their timing was just a little off... she's a great little handler! He did get the gamble beautifully, but we were short points in the opening due to some bad handling on my part. Our snooker ended abruptly with a back jump...bad dog... bad handler!

I was very happy with Blast this weekend, he had some really nice moments - he managed one Adv Standard Q, but he was running quite well. He still balks at the weave poles when he's feeling insecure, so that cost us a refusal in one of the standard courses. He had an awful Snooker round, but he had to go outside to go potty, so at least I can read the signs now... he used to have stress diarrhea in the ring not so long ago.

Two long days at a trial running 3 dogs is hard on my body, I may have to consider just entering one day per weekend in the future, although I'd like as much practice as possible before Regionals!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Past Year's Achievements

I was just thinking about how many things I still need to work on with my dogs - with Nationals here in Calgary this year, I think everyone is training harder than ever.
Then I stopped to think about what we have achieved in the past year & I checked out our AAC achievement pages. We really didn't do too bad!

Boo, who is now 5 yrs old, earned several Q's this year, despite the fact that I don't enter him in full trials since I found he's much better with a couple of runs each day. He actually got 32 Masters Qualifiers, as well as his Ex St Silver, Ex Sc Bronze, his VBA (Versatility Bronze Award), & his Silver Award of Merit. He also won his division at our AAC Regionals this year & placed 7th at Nationals.
If you had seen this dog trialing the first couple of years, you'd be surprised too!

Blast, who is my crazy giant papillon, earned 15 qualifiers, his Agility Dog of Canada & his Starters Games Dog of Canada. This was a huge accomplishment for this guy who used to zoom around the ring doing laps!

Bizzie Bee, who took 4 months off to have a litter of puppies, also did very well.
She earned 9 qualifiers, & her Agility dog of Canada & her Starters Games Dog of Canada. She said she's not doing the puppy thing again this year, so hopefully we will get some quality training time in!

Well, I still feel over whelmed with all the training we need to do, but I do feel we accomplished some big goals this year, so now it's onward & upward for 2010!